Symposium Makes Case for Women Emancipation -Outlines Biases Against Their Progress

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

As women of Liberia on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 joined other women globally in celebrating International Women’s Day, participants at a one symposium which aimed to discuss ways to achieve women’s emancipation and participation to take up influential role in the public and private sectors, stressed the need to foster more gender inclusiveness in the political, social and economic set up of the country and outlined couple of biases against the women folks in the country.

The symposium which was organized by the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security under the theme “Liberian Women at the Table”, took place Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at the Cecil Dennis Conference Room at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia and brought together cross sections of women from across the country.

A discussion from the women outlined challenges, including fear, tradition, lack of love and support for each other, lack of resources, limited education, and threats from their spouses as some of the reasons for which Liberian women are not at the table of trust, influence and decision making. The grassroots women also highlighted the negative impact of illicit drugs among the youths and called for swift action to save the younger generation.

Despite the odds, Glady Walker and Julia Russell, two participants who made useful comments at the event said women who are opportuned to get at the table must get there for all – including their fellow women, men and children, stating that women should work with spirit and for the people. Besides, they said drug and rape cases have become commodities for the Justice system and urged women of Liberia to rise against drug dealers

Additionally, the women craved job, training and empowerment to be able to support their children and cater to the livelihood of their respective families as they further urged their colleagues to enhance their meaningful participation in national advocacy for women and children across the country.

The symposium, according to the Establishment Coordinator of the influential Liberian-based Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security, Cllr. Dr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh was necessary to brainstorm and encourage Liberian women and girls to break barriers and  step forward and forge ahead to pursue the objective of women emancipation.

Madam Chesson-Wureh said the time is now for women to do away with phobia and threats from their male counterparts and take on the challenge to be visible to positions of trust and influence, adding that it is through that the plight of women will be addressed and voices be heard. Speaking further she described women as aggressor, disruptor and creator therefore, they must brace to create the space to get to positions of influence and trust instead of sitting behind and waiting for it to get to them.

Speaking on the multitask of women, she noted that if women can be in charge of creation and have the ability to multi-task then who are men to create bias, saying that women are not educated to be given positions of influence and trust to express at the helm of decision making in the private and public sectors of the country and challenged the participating women to take the responsibility to save generation.

“I do not want us to be quiet because we are thinking about women. We are creators and generational thinkers. We think and we have the ability to speak and things happen. We must make sure that the voices of our voice must be heard and it starts from the home, whether good, bad, or ugly, they must speak out and we as parents should listen and train them”, she said

Cllr. Wureh said to the grassroots women, “Stop hindering the voices of your girls in the home because it is your responsibility to guide them in thought, train them in ideas and properly guide them how to formulate ideas to speak out.

“Liberian Women must be at the table and be visible. We as women have the right to be at the table therefore, we are not waiting for any money to bring an answer. We are partners to men. We have to start training our girls in the home to speak out instead of shutting them down. Cooking, cleaning is not their life because they are beyond that. Make the space for them to express themselves and explore potential to compete with the boys in the home”, she said.

Prior to the indoor meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ABIC Establishment Coordinator along  with hundreds of grassroots women from Westpoint, Clara Town,  New Kru Town, King Gray, Bentol, Todee and Bong and Lofa counties amongst others, paraded the streets of Monrovia from Broad & Johnson streets to the grounds of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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